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Occupational Profile

Producer - Film, Radio, Television and Theatre

Producers co-ordinate the making of films, theatre productions, television and radio programs including everything from the initial concept to final production and distribution.

  • Avg. Salary $55,709.00
  • Avg. Wage $34.45
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook Up
  • Employed 1,800
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Film Producer, Radio Producer, Television Producer, Theatrical Producer, Motion Picture Producer

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

70%
70%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Producer - Film, Radio, Television and Theatre is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Film, Radio and Television Producers
NOC code: 5131.1
INNOVATIVE

Interest in determining scope, treatment and scheduling of productions, and in adapting scripts and programs to reach specific audiences

DIRECTIVE

Interest in co-ordinating all elements of productions to ensure that quality is maintained; in controlling all stages of productions to ensure deadlines are met; and in approving productions before release; may direct productions

SOCIAL

Interest in negotiating with administrators, investors, contractors, directors and staff to develop business management policies and to finance productions; and in negotiating royalties

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation. 

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 15, 2016

No two projects are exactly the same but, in general, producers:

  • initiate the idea for a film, theatre production or radio or television program
  • obtain the rights to a script, if necessary
  • find financial backing for the venture
  • hire key senior staff including directors, writers and production crew
  • oversee budgets, schedules and plans
  • co-ordinate the day to day production off and on the set or stage
  • see that all post production is completed
  • negotiate with distributors and broadcasters
  • promote the film, production or program.

Producers usually work closely with directors and production managers in hiring actors and production crew members. They deal with contract negotiations over salary and conditions of employment, and must be familiar with minimum wages and working conditions established by relevant unions and associations. Each department's costs must be approved by the producer from lighting equipment to travel budgets.

Distribution is an important concern for producers. Advance press materials are sent out before the show is completed or opens on stage. Often a short promotional version or clip is sent out for preview. Producers must then do follow up calls and sometimes participate in promotional tours and media interviews.

Once a show is running or released, producers:

  • wrap up all of the elements related to the project
  • pay back any investors
  • distribute residual payments to artists
  • administer the business concerns of the project.

Film producers may produce commercials, TV programs, industrial training or promotional films, music videos or documentaries. Film producers must be familiar with provincial and federal film and television grants and tax credit programs. Extensive research and paperwork may be required when writing proposals to bid on projects and win contracts.

Radio producers usually are assigned a specific show. For example, a producer may be in charge of a local morning show or an afternoon talk show. In general, they:

  • determine program content (within station guidelines)
  • supervise researchers, writers and production assistants
  • ensure expenditures do not exceed a set budget.

Radio producers also may work in the control room directing the music and information portions of the program.

Television producers are responsible for the conception, direction, production and completion of television programs within budget limitations. At larger operations, producers may specialize in news, entertainment or commercials. At smaller stations, they may assume responsibility for several programs. Producers may have some input into hiring on air staff.

Theatrical producers co-ordinate the production of live plays and musicals. The producer's office books venues for plays, sometimes in more than one city. Dinner theatres have theatrical producers who produce shows strictly as commercial properties.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Producers work long, irregular hours and often are present in the station or on set when the production is being shot. Large projects may take two or more years to complete or involve considerable travel.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Producers working in radio, television, film or theatre need the following characteristics:

  • highly creative
  • strong leadership and communication skills
  • the ability to work with a wide variety of people
  • the ability to give and take constructive criticism
  • the ability to identify what makes a great story and know how to effectively tell it
  • adaptability and perseverance 
  • good judgement for hiring key people
  • a passion for the work they do and an entrepreneurial spirit
  • the ability to deal with stress
  • willingness to attend festivals, awards shows and industry workshops to network and form partnerships
  • willingness to be held accountable for all decisions made.

They should enjoy having variety in their work, finding innovative solutions to problems, co-ordinating productions and negotiating with people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Producers need a broad range of background knowledge and experience including:

  • an understanding of what each person does in the creation of a project
  • a strong business background
  • an understanding of Canada's tax system (to explain to financial backers the tax benefits of investing in a project)
  • an understanding of how to write an effective proposal and how to sell their idea to the right broadcasters
  • good writing and grammatical skills
  • awareness of the competitive television and film industry in Canada and how it varies from province to province
  • a good understanding of ever changing technology
  • knowledge of emerging specialty channels and networks and the types of programming these networks are seeking.

For this reason, producers come from varied backgrounds.

  • Film producers may come from inside the film business. In larger centres such as Toronto and Vancouver, executive producers often are lawyers or business people. Some documentary film producers may have a political science or social justice background.
  • Radio producers generally begin as writers, broadcasters, researchers or assistant producers. They often have a university degree in journalism or liberal arts or a two year diploma in radio and television arts.
  • Television producers tend to come from within the organization and work their way up through junior production jobs. They may have a university degree in arts, commerce, management or law; some have a two year diploma in radio and television arts.
  • Theatre producers may have experience in the theatre business or be business people who recognize a successful commercial venture.

For information about related workshops and support groups, contact the following organizations:

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Most radio producers are employed by radio broadcast companies.

Television producers often are hired on contract for specific shows. Larger television stations may have several producers on staff. It is possible to start as a news reporter or production assistant, or in entry level positions in sales or operations and work your way up to a producer's position.

There are very few theatrical producers in Canada and most of them work in large cities. 

Some film and television companies produce films and television series in Alberta. Producers may work on documentaries, training films, music videos and commercials as well as television programs and feature films. Amateur producers may choose to produce a small independent production on a tight budget and enter it in local and national film festivals as a way to get experience and make establish a reputation in the field.

Producers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5131: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations. In Alberta, 89% of people employed in this classification work in the Information, Culture and Recreation industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Information, Culture and Recreation industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 1,800 Albertans are employed in the Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.2% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 40 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As producers - film, radio, television and theatre form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for producers - film, radio, television and theatre.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Incomes for freelance producers vary considerably from one producer to another, and from one year to another.

Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations
NOC code: 5131

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $37.58 $29.62 $23.39
Overall $19.23 $44.04 $34.45 $28.59
Top $20.00 $59.46 $38.70 $31.19

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Information, Culture, Recreation

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

70%
70%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

14%
14%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

N/A

2015 Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related High School Subjects
  • Fine Arts
    • Drama
  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Management and Marketing
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Communication Technology
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Communications
  • Fine Arts and Performing Arts
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association (AMPIA) website: www.ampia.org

Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers website: www.csif.org

Canadian Film and Television Production Association website: www.cftpa.ca

Cultural Human Resources Council website: www.culturalhrc.ca

Film and Video Arts Society website: fava.ca

National Film Board of Canada website: www.onf-nfb.gc.ca

National Screen Institute website: www.nsi-canada.ca

Women in Film and Television, Alberta (WIFT-A) website: www.wifta.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Jun 01, 2009. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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